Munchkin

munchkin.jpg

Invade the dungeon, kick down a few doors, kill damn near anything that moves and be the first player to advance to 10th level.

Gameboard & Components
Its a cardgame… consequently… no board. But if it had one… I’m sure it would be expensive. This is a classic example of an American game company that insists on charging you top dollar for substandard work. On top of that the game can’t even be played “out of the box”. The game calls for either ten tokens per player or any type of device that will count to ten (paper and pencil is the cheapest, but ten sided dice work quite nicely). OK, I can forgive the fact that these are not included but come on… you can’t even play the game without a six sided die. How hard would it have been to include one lousy, 3 cent piece of plastic?*

On the other hand, the artwork is very humorous and pretty good for cartoon art, but once again they took the cheap route and printed it in what looks like a max of 6 shades of brown on flimsy cardstock. Jesus people! My sons UNO deck comes with better cards than these!. Well, at least the font is easy to read.

Gameplay is pretty straight forward. First, the two decks (Dungeon cards and Treasure cards) are shuffled separately and placed in two stacks face down on the table. Each player is then dealt 2 cards from each deck.

On each persons turn you do the following;

  • Open a door – Draw a card from the Dungeon deck and turn it face up. If its a monster (i.e. a Level 2 Large Angry Chicken)… fight
    it, if its a curse (i.e. the Duck of Doom)… do what it says immediately (if possible) then discard it, if it is anything else (i.e. the Cheat card)… put it in your hand or use it immediately. Combat is pretty simple. Your level plus any bonuses Vs the monsters level. He with the most… wins.
  • Look for trouble – This can only be done if you did not encounter a monster in the previous phase. You may now play a monster
    from your hand.
  • Loot the room – If you were able to kill the monster you get to draw the number of Treasure cards shown on the monsters card.
    These are drawn face down … unless someone else helped you kill the monster, then they are drawn face up. If you did not meet a monster you get to draw a Treasure and a Dungeon card face down and place them in your hand. (This simulates looting an empty room). Treasure can be anything from the Boots of Butt-Kicking to a Sneaky Bastard Sword to the famed Pointy Hat of Power. This
    is pretty much where the games humor shines.
  • Give to charity – If you now have more than 5 cards (6 for Dwarves) you must give your excess cards to the player with the lowest level, or divide them evenly in case of a tie. If you are the lowest level player the cards are discarded.

As much as I hate the shoddy workmanship and the exuberant price I can’t help but like this game. Its fun, but the majority of the humor will be lost to those who have never played a role-playing game like Dungeons & Dragons. If it weren’t for its price tag, I would highly recommend this game… so, for now, I can only give it a hardy thumbs up. If someone you know owns it, play it…. if you see it on the shelf… buy something else.

Complexity: 1             Strategy: 3             Luck: 4             Overall: 2

* Since I originally wrote this review, I have been informed that the newer printings now include a six sided die.

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